To take a project from an idea to become your dream home requires proper planning, clear communication, and well thought out design that meets the goals for your home, as well as complying to codes and regulations. To achieve the most desirable outcome and have fun along the way, it is important to take proper steps to make sure we make well-informed decisions before going to the next phase. A typical residential project would go through phases as follows:
- Feasibility and Schematic Design Phase: This is the initial underlying design phase describing general relationship and space requirements of the project. You and the Project Architect will establish design goals and evaluate needs and options for the house, figure out what a realistic budget is, and research on the requirements by the Jurisdiction that the property is under.
- Design Development: We enter this phase when we feel confident with the results from phase 1. The Project Architect completes design work, which includes floor plans, exterior design, and site design, and review this with you and the City/County Jurisdiction for basic approval before moving forward to develop the Construction Document.
- Construction Document: This is the assembly of all the design and engineering documents, written and graphic, necessary to apply for Plan check with the City, and for General Contractors to review to provide Construction Estimates.
This will include, but not limited to, Structural drawings, Title 24 energy compliance reports, California Green Building Code requirements, and other City conditions of approval.
The completion of the Construction Document is required to obtain the building permit.
- Interior Design: Typically, the City would require 4 to 6 weeks to for the initial review of the plans, and another 2 to 4 weeks for the final review. During this time, you can select and order items for the interior of the house, such as cabinets, tiles, flooring, finishes, fixtures, appliances, etc. It is advisable to hire an Interior Designer for such job because they are experts in selecting and shopping for items relating to interior styles and décor of the house.
- Bidding and Negotiation: The construction documents are presented to various General Contractors to bid on the project. Through bidding and negotiation, you select the general contractor with a satisfactory price and agreeable personality. The General Contractor who wins your project will be in contract with you and provide you with a construction schedule.
- Construction Observation: When the Construction Document is approved by the City/County Jurisdiction, the General Contractor will pull the Building Permit. In this phase, the Project Architect works with the general contractor by observing work for conformance to the construction document and responding to requests for design changes.